A Yorkshire charity which supports people to work their way out of homelessness has received a £30,000 early Christmas present from the Freemasons.
Emmaus ‘communities’ in Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, will each receive £10,000 to help finance their on-going activities, thanks to a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have meant that Emmaus social enterprise shops, which provide both income and employment training opportunities, had to close. The impact of this lost income meant that the communities could be at risk.
The charity, which first opened in 1992 and now has 29 ‘communities’ – the name it gives its residential sites, spread across the UK – was nominated for funding by the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding.
The valuable support from the Freemasons will help to ensure that current services are sustainable and able to continue to provide much-needed support in the future.
Its Leeds and Sheffield communities provide accommodation, support and meaningful work to nearly 100 people, at any one time, who have experienced homelessness.
The combination helps to rebuild lost self-esteem, provides routine and stability to work on issues and enable those who have experienced homelessness to positively move on in their lives.
For its part, Emmaus Bradford is in the process of developing a new community which aims to provide 15 new rooms.
Helen Brandley, Trusts and Major Donors Manager at Emmaus, said:
“Emmaus would like to send a huge thank you to the Freemasons for their extremely generous support of £30,000 for Emmaus communities in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.”
Graham Bostock of the Sheffield branch said:
“We are over the moon. We hope to use the grant to enhance our eBay site and increase sales to assist in funding another seven rooms.”
David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have secured this £30,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation for the three Yorkshire Emmaus communities.
“Charity is at the heart Freemasonry and sadly due to COVID-19, many charities have been unable to undertake their normal fundraising activities. This grant will now go some way in ensuring Emmaus is able to continue the valuable work it does in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society get back on their feet.”
This latest grant is the third Emmaus Sheffield has received from the Freemasons this year.
In October, it was awarded £3,000 to part-fund the installation of two new boilers in its Victoria Quays community, a Grade II Listed former cutlery works which house 18 formerly homeless people at any one time.
During the first lockdown, it was given £5,000 to enable it to buy a fogging machine and personal protective equipment, so it could reopen its shop for the refurbishment and sale of second-hand goods.
Additional information regarding the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding is available from its website: https://www.wrprovince.org.uk/